Ozamiz City: from a violent past, to a destination for tourists, pilgrims

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OZAMIZ CITY (MindaNews / 03 March) — Seven months after the brutal slaying of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 of his relatives in an anti-illegal drugs raids on July 30, Ozamiz City is moving away from its violent past and working its way into becoming a tourist destination.

Acting Mayor Girlette Luansing said they are hoping their new thrusts on tourism will change the violent image of the city.

Local tourists and pilgrims visit the Shrine of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and of the Triumph of the Cross of Panguil Bay, in Ozamiz City. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

“Ozamiz was never a good tourist destination before because of the violent image of the Parojinogs,” said Luansing, who was elected number 2 councilor in 2016 but was thrust into the mayoralty after the mayor was killed; Nova, the mayor’s daughter-vice mayor was arrested and detained; and the mayor’s brother Ricardo, the number 1 councilor, escaped and remains at large. (While at large, Ricardo tendered his resignation in October 2017).

Luansing partnered with the Department of Tourism to help them make the city attractive to tourists.

She said they are improving the city’s main attraction, the old Spanish fort Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo and the shrine of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and of the Triumph of the Cross of Panguil Bay, to cater to tourists and pilgrims.

Antique religious figurines are on display at the the old Spanish fort, Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo in Ozamiz City. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Luansing said they are also asking local restaurants to come up with new cuisine to attract visitors to the city.

She said their goal is not far off since there are two daily flights to the city from Manla and one daily  from Cebu. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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